Election Office Was Closed For Registry Check

July 24, 2012, 5:58 PM HST (Updated July 24, 2012, 6:03 PM)
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The Hawai`i County Elections Division office in Hilo was closed Monday to allow staff to complete a manual check of the Big Island’s list of voters, County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi said today.

“We wanted to take another look at the voter registry,” she said. That included a check of names, addresses and district assignments for the roughly 101,000 registered voters in Hawai`i County, she said.

A sign on the front door Monday said the office was “closed for auditing.”

Kawauchi said the Monday closure was necessary because the job of checking the voter’s list which was started on Saturday took longer than expected to complete.

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Because no one from the elections office was available for comment on the office’s activities — Kawauchi did not return a call until today — Big Island Now made inquiries Monday with the state and Big Island auditors to see if they knew what was taking place.

Not even state election officials were aware Monday of the ongoing check of the Hawai`i County registry. Rex Quidilla, spokesman for the state Office of Elections, said Monday that he had not previously seen a county election office closed in such a manner.

Quidilla today noted that assembling the voter registry for this election is particularly difficult because of the redrawing of the district boundaries that was carried out this year as mandated by Hawai`i’s constitution.

“It’s a huge undertaking,” Quidilla said.

Kawauchi said her office is doing its best to ensure that the upcoming election is done right.

“We’re trying to make sure we dot every i and cross every t,” she said.

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